The fifth book in the Handyman Series, THE HANDYMAN’S SUMMER, went out into the world a little over a year ago. I was very pleased with it. The book was well received, and if anyone was disappointed in it, they didn’t bother to tell me. Thus, I was content to rest on my laurels for awhile.
Still, I knew there had to be a book six. Although the ending of SUMMER was tidy and satisfying, there were a few things that bothered me. There were stories left to tell or finish or at least continue. I’ve always considered the first three books in the series to be a trilogy of sorts. Books four and five were part of the next trilogy, and although my math skills are rather shaky, I knew there had to be a book six to finish the second trilogy.
Then 2020 arrived. I mean, who knew? Who anticipated? Any thoughts I had of writing were washed away in the landslide of reality that was this past year. I, like a good many people, found ways to cope. My big thing last summer was gardening, something I had neglected for years. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but when autumn arrived and I began to think about next year, you know, saving seeds and planting bulbs and all that, I knew I had to have something to get me through the remainder of the year and safely into 2021, which so far, has been pretty hairy as well, but that’s another story.
Management at my day job insisted we remote workers return to the office in September. None of us were too thrilled about it. I, for one, figured it wouldn’t last long; Covid was far from over. Turns out I was right; they sent us back home at the end of October. Wearing a face mask all day and having my temperature checked every morning made me all that more determined to find a distraction. I realized it was time to return to Porterfield and get Ed and Rick through what was left of the eighties as a way to finish this trilogy and neatly tie up the lingering story threads.
The hardest part for me was knowing THE HANDYMAN’S STORM could not be a “stand alone” book. It simply wouldn’t have much of an emotional connection to new readers. I spent weeks arguing with myself about that, and finally one day decided – fuck it. This one is for the fans, the ones who have stuck by these characters through five previous books. I realized one of the main impulse behind getting the book written and out there was to satisfy all the emails and messages from fans who wrote asking about another book. The stories the readers share with me and their enthusiasm for the Porterfield gang mean the world to me. Really. Knowing I’ve connected with people all over the world still blows my mind. I may not have achieved fame and fortune, but I’ve entertained a lot of people. That never ceases to amaze me.
So! For those of you who have read your way through five books, please know book six is especially for you. I hope you’ll join Handyman Ed as he comes to the end of a decade, and a place where he can look back and take a good deal of pride in what he has accomplished. The manuscript is frozen and in the process of becoming of a book. It should be coming your way soon.
Talk about buried musical treasure! I stumbled over this one online last spring, and from the moment I heard it I knew it would have to be in THE HANDYMAN’S STORM. When you read the book you will discover why.